Burke, the son of Dale and Sharon Burke, is a 1981 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with a bachelor's degree in systems engineering. He earned a masters degree in national security and strategic studies from the Army War College.
Reporting to the USS Hawkbill, Burke served as reactor controls officer and weapons officer. He completed four deployments to the Arctic Ocean and Western Pacific. Burke subsequently served as lead tactical instructor at the Submarine Training Center Pacific.
Beginning in 1989, Burke reported to the USS Olympia where he served as navigation and operations officer. He served two deployments to the Western Pacific and the Arabian Gulf. Burke served as the war plan advisor to the commander of the U.S. Strategic Command at the Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. He subsequently served as executive officer on the USS West Virginia, and commanding officer on the USS Birmingham and the USS Olympia.
Burke served as deputy commander of Submarine Squadron Seven, consisting of fast attack submarines, at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. During Operation Iraqi Freedom, he served as information warfare commander, submarine operations officer and assistant chief of staff for Command, Control, Communications Computers and Intelligence (C41) systems on the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group.
From 2003 to 2009, Burke served as: assistant chief of staff for C41, operations and plans, on the staff of the Second Fleet; the underseas warfare director at the Operational Test and Evaluation Force; the strategic communications director for Joint Task Force 519; and plans and policy director for the Combined Joint Task Force in the Horn of Africa.
Captain Burke culminated his 30-year career assigned to the military faculty in the Joint and Combined Warfighting School at the Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Va. He taught core and elective courses in joint professional military education, phase two.
Awards presented to Burke include: the Defense Superior Service Medal; the Legion of Merit with two gold stars; the Defense Meritorious Service Medal; the Navy Meritorious Service Medal with one gold star; the Navy Commendation Medal with four gold stars; and the Navy Achievement Medal with one gold star.
Burke was one of the speakers at the Monett Kiwanis Club's Contemporary Issues Day at Monett High School last March. He is married to the former Lisa Helfrich, of Lancaster, Pa.